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FTC scolds Apple, Google and Microsoft for bad policing of children apps privacy disclosures

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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FTC scolds Apple, Google and Microsoft for bad policing of children apps privacy disclosures
The FTC came out with a report yesterday that mobile app developers are not doing enough to disclose the privacy implications of kids apps. The study notes that children-oriented applications include interactivity and information-sharing with third party services, which are not listed in the terms of agreement of the app that all parents should be reading before their kids engage in the game or educational software.

Out of 400 randomly selected such apps, about 60% were sending sensitive personal info to 3rd party services like ad networks and firms that do customer analytics.

Just 20% of the apps, however, felt the need to disclose the information about those data-collection practices in their descriptions, not to mention that a lot of them also link to social networks, or use geolocation.

All in all, the FTC scolded Apple, Google, Microsoft and the rest of the mobile platform companies for not doing a better job at policing their application stores regarding children privacy:

We haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids. All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job.


source: WSJ

FTC scolds Apple, Google and Microsoft for bad policing of children apps privacy disclosures

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posted on 11 Dec 2012, 05:06 4

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


To be honest, Nintendo device remains a best device for children... I love Nintendo coz I'm a huge pokemon fans :p

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 10:31

4. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Yeah, Nintendo is good, but the big three give kids access to browser and search. My kids have a 3DS and the Wii - they are not getting the Wii U.

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 09:53

2. mercorp (Posts: 985; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


Sadly they always stick to their own platforms....
Wonder if they will go bankrupt soon...

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 10:31

3. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Hello!!!??? What about parents? My kids, unfortunately, have ipods and we do not let them surf porn and ban them from youtube if certain videos they are watching look inappropriate. Because they knew I will ban them a week from it, they always come and ask me first. Also, they cannot download anything without my passcode.
Now, as for Google, there should be an option that allows us to not only have a passcode required for paid apps and in-app purchase, but, also, for free stuff. Just in case.

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 10:35

5. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The apps with Android tell you what info goes out. Kids on their ipods use the itunes account used by the family, so any info sent out is the same for any app. Use an Android phone to block the apps - I do the same for my kids as they use my old laptop and only use Chrome and we block info using Do not Track +.

Speaking of info transmitted from a computer - phonearena has this tracking us on their site:
Google Adsense Blocked here
Vibrant Ads Blocked here
Google Analytics Blocked here
NetShelter Blocked here
Quantcast Blocked here
Doubleclick Blocked here
Invite Media Blocked here
AdNexus Blocked here
Collective Media Blocked here

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 10:36

6. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Shame on you, phonearena...but I blocked it all - even the social media junk.

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